Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

TOPIC: Looky! More science

Looky! More science 03 Apr 2012 13:43 #4254

"On that note, does anyone ever really take in how utterly tiny we are? How big a fuss we make about our little world and how much we imagine the whole universe revolves around our flickering sparks of life, which last but an instant?" - ona

Yes!

And this is just Earth, which is about one-third as old as THIS PARTICULAR universe.


The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 03 Apr 2012 15:14 #4255

I didn't comment on this thread yesterday, because something about the science topic corresponds with my own reactive patterns in ways I'm not happy about. That is, I get frustrated any time it appears as though some scientist is attempting not merely to explain, but rather to explain-away. If I'm honest with myself, and come from a place of attention rather than reaction, I notice that science isn't the problem.



I didn't watch the video, but I plan to. (I misplaced my headphones some time ago, so listening to the presentation at work hasn't been a good option.) So, I don't know what GW has to say in the video, nor what my reaction or response would be.



In my understanding, at two things are happening:



1.) Some scientists are looking at the world through a lens of scientific materialism, and their findings correspond with the teachings of various wisdom traditions, ranging on a spectrum from mundane to profound (more of the former than the latter). Afterward, they reformulate the wisdom teachings in their own terms, explaining them away, reducing them to the material universe without a second thought. "We now know that these minds states are really just the brain doing x, y, and z."



2.) Spiritual types encounter the above approach in some way, and appropriately (in my view) object. Reducing on body of teachings to another rarely does justice to the one that was reduced. It discredits it, to some degree, whether or not the reduction was valid. When the mainstream adopts a view, and reduces all other systems to that view, it's frustrating. So, spiritual types (much like myself) tend to take this approach and its correlated worldview, and then conceptually marry it it with science in general. Therefore, science - rather than merely a particular theoretical application of its findings - becomes an object of aversion; something to feel threatened about, and to become upset over.



One unfortunate result is that scientific types who don't share the scientific materialist dogma are often lumped into this category by spiritual types. And, spiritual types who appreciate science are often looked down upon by their peers who uphold the materialist view, as if the spiritual scientist just could make the full and necessary leap into being a "real" scientist. Both of these results are unfortunate.



I'm not trying to lump anyone from this forum into any of these categories. Of course, we know categories are arbitrary, even though the way we usually apply them non-arbitrarily. That is, even though we know they aren't "real," we still tend to (reactively/inattentively) treat them as such. I know I personally react to this issue and those like it, more often than I would like. It shows in my posts in this forum and elsewhere. And when I peer into the workings of these patterns, a similar underlying pattern shows its face: "Don't discredit me! Don't count me out! I'm smart, dammit! I'm important! Validate me!" The funny thing is that I'm not always looking for validation from the person I'm arguing with. I'm most likely projecting my need for validation from someone from my past, and playing the scenario out, over and over again, with those whom I come into contact with.



We're a mature bunch, here. I like that about us. So, I'd like us all to strengthen our capacities to step back when we're triggered, and to notice when our reaction may not be a good match for the situation directly in front of us. This provides a much better emotional platform for our discussions. In the future, if it appears as though I'm posting out of reaction, I hope someone will tell me so, and guide me back to this post :-)



Love and respect for all of you.

-Jackson
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 03 Apr 2012 15:25 #4256

"We're a mature bunch, here. I like that about us. So, I'd
like us all to strengthen our capacities to step back when we're
triggered, and to notice when our reaction may not be a good match for
the situation directly in front of us. This provides a much better
emotional platform for our discussions. In the future, if it appears as
though I'm posting out of reaction, I hope someone will tell me so, and
guide me back to this post :-)" - Jackson

If we can all aim for that to the best of our abilities, our practices will have been worth something.

I am now aware of my own reactivity (which follows more or less the scenario Jackson articulated more clearly than I did in my attempt). I am now aware that some people (like Chris) are NOT applying science in this reductionist way I tend to anticipate.

If we see through more of our own preconceptions about others and ourselves via these conversations, that's a wonderful development.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 03 Apr 2012 15:42 #4257

"If we see through more of our own preconceptions about others and ourselves via these conversations, that's a wonderful development." -Ona

Wonderful.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 03 Apr 2012 15:43 #4258

Oh god, it's getting all huggy again. Blech! ;)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 03 Apr 2012 15:48 #4259

Haha. My bad. I must be skilled at steering conflict into warm fuzzies.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 03 Apr 2012 16:06 #4260

Just don't be attached to your identity as a fixer. :P
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 03 Apr 2012 16:22 #4261

Noted!
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 03 Apr 2012 16:32 #4262

As of this morning, my take is that I precipitated unintended consequences of riled feelings-- so I apologize.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 03 Apr 2012 19:42 #4263

These articles have some more information on Benjamin Libet's experiment, which Weber cites:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17835-free-will-is-not-an-illusion-after-all.html (A follow-up experiment suggests that another interpretation is warranted rather than "free will is an illusion".)

http://www.centenary.edu/attachments/philosophy/aizawa/courses/intros2009/libetjcs1999.pdf (Libet provides a summary of his research and indicates that free will does seem to be operative in control of the performance of an act, such as choosing not to perform an act.)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 03 Apr 2012 20:48 #4264

I can do no better than to leave this in the hands of a scientist who, for me, represents the absolute best in regard to how science works, should work, can work, does often (but not often enough) work. This is a man who leaves a huge footprint in 20th century physics, from the Manhattan Project to the Challenger shuttle disaster, and who really understood what open inquiry is all about:

http://www.feynmanphysicslectures.com/
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 03 Apr 2012 23:08 #4265

"As of this morning, my take is that I precipitated unintended consequences of riled feelings-- so I apologize."

Apology accepted, but it's not really necessary, Kate.

What I would like to think is that a bunch of us here, after having posted on message boards together for so many years, would be more aware of each others' unique interests. I've been posting mind science related stuff here (and elsewhere) for along time and all of a sudden I seemed to be getting tarred as being some kind of "science fundamentalist" and a symbol of what has become a very popular renunciation of science, good, bad or indifferent. And yes, I do believe that the state of mind among the general populace in regard to science is just piss-freaking poor, uninformed and really quite dangerous.

Just for future reference, and in the hope that we don't have to repeat this again, I'm for open minded inquiry, of any type, from any domain. I think science has had and will have an increasing voice in spirituality. I know scientist who are very accomplished Buddhist practitioners. I see deeply aware Buddhist practitioners who are helping scientists in their work (Google "Mind and Life Institute"). I met scientists at the BG 2011 conference who are on the cutting edge of fMRI scanning of meditators and who are finding some interesting results. Not locked in stone, not final, just interesting, suggestive and probably leading somewhere, but who knows where that is?

JMHO
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 05 Apr 2012 03:10 #4266


These articles have some more information on Benjamin Libet's experiment, which Weber cites:
[url] (A follow-up experiment suggests that another interpretation is warranted rather than "free will is an illusion".)
[url] (Libet provides a summary of his research and indicates that free will does seem to be operative in control of the performance of an act, such as choosing not to perform an act.)


-sunyata

Thanks, Jake2-- I did have a look at this, and it clarified some things for me.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 05 Apr 2012 04:28 #4267

Some science about scientists-- or those who play them onTV: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/clothes-and-self-perception.html?_r=3&ref=science
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 05 Apr 2012 10:51 #4268

@kate - Fun read.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 12 Apr 2012 13:00 #4269

I have to tell this story.

So I'm here for the next week: http://singularityu.org/

I expected a lot of hard core hard science. Nanotechnology, AI, robotics, stuff like that. And yes, the class schedule is chock full of that stuff. But here's what's funny and ironic: all of us here, all 75 students, had to stand up in front of everyone else and introduce ourselves by saying only a very few words representing three memes about "me." A woman attending the program introduced herself as a lucid dreamer and, no kidding,almost the entire group, students and instructors alike, end up being fascinated by that, by meditation and the role of contemplative traditions in the process of building a different world. I spent more time talking about meditation and answering questions about that than on all other topics combined. Yes, I do tend to seek those topics out but still....

... and the lucid dreamer was a rock star all evening.

I used to shy away, really avoid, from talking about meditation outside of venues like ours here. Lately it seems the minute you mention it everybody wants in.

Maybe there's something going on wherein people are realizing that it's not enough to just get what you want (new buzzword = "abundance"), to build the starship or to change the world with software. You have to be in touch with the universe, too, or you may find yourself lost, ungrounded and actually doing more harm than good.

<TTFN>
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 12 Apr 2012 13:14 #4270

"Maybe there's something going on wherein people are realizing that it's not enough to just get what you want (new buzzword = "abundance"), to build the starship or to change the world with software. You have to be in touch with the universe, too, or you may find yourself lost, ungrounded and actually doing more harm than good."- chris

I hope so! How did you introduce yourself?

"I used to shy away, really avoid, from talking about meditation outside of venues like ours here." - chris

Me too. But I have found myself lately being very willing to share my knowledge and insight into achieving full liberation. I know that sounds highfalutin for someone who hasn't even had an awakening experience, but I feel this deep desire to introduce others to teachings that might help them awaken. I think this behavior is an outcropping of self-inquiry practice, which I've picked up. I'm becoming more open and willing to engage others and this is what comes out: compassion.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 12 Apr 2012 13:31 #4271

I think I've told you, Chris, that I was a bit surprised after my book and blog came out and everything was "out of the closet" how often people are actually really interested. I'll be at a dinner with business types I assume have little interest in stuff like this and when I say "I write about horses, internet technology and spirituality" you'd be amazed how many people jump on that with "oh, I'm trying to learn to meditate" or "I'm going on my first retreat next month" or "I spent last summer at an ashram" and so on. It's like one of those family drama movie scenes where no one will talk about the elephant in the room, figuring no one else has noticed, but actually everyone's just wishing someone else would bring it up first.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 12 Apr 2012 14:44 #4272

Thanks for sharing, Chris.

As usual, some synchronicity arose for us :)

Just yesterday, I co-lead a presentation on couples therapy in one of my grad school classes. Near the end, cross-cultural and diversity concerns were brought up, as a few of the students (as well as the professor) are immigrants to the US.

After class, I spent in conversation with a fellow student who grew up in India. As we continued our cross-cultural conversations surrounding relationships, spirituality came up (because, for the most part, spirituality never exits the lives of East Indians, the way it does for so many North Americans). What began as a simple conversation about diversity evolved into an in-depth discussion about mandalas, Zen, Indian metaphysics, impermanence, and other "spiritual" matters. She admitted knowing hardly anything about Buddhism, and I admitted my rather limited knowledge of Hindu spirituality. She and I both felt surprised that there was another person in the program who was interested in these topics, and was open to speaking about them at the University.

She and I are planning to keep the conversation going, which I'm happy about. Making spontaneous connections in the "real world" is always so inspiring and rewarding. I don't realize how much it's missing from my life until it happens, and then I don't want it to stop!

So yes, it would seem that there are more people who are interested in this sort of thing than I thought. I don't really know where I got the idea that I should keep it all on the down-low... well, I think I know why, at least in part. Not worth getting into in this post, though. (I digress...)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 12 Apr 2012 15:23 #4273

I should mention that the reason for the collective "surprise" in the above case was due to our University's (or at least the counseling program's) emphasis on "evidence-based practice"; the major caveat being that what is considered "evidence" can be quite narrow restricted, rather than broad and inclusive. On more than one occasion, a professor has suggested that from an empirical scientific perspective, belief in the divine is no different from belief in Santa Claus, since neither can be supported by empirical (read: data from the five senses) methods. Thus, belief in God becomes a "God delusion," as Richard Dawkins famously asserts.

There's a huge categorical error at work in this line of reasoning, which I won't get into. And to be fair, the professor usually proposes this as something to be explored, rather than something to believe. Yet this idea (or something like it) is quite prominent in some of the more influential scientific domains - but not ALL, of course.

Anyway, I think the context upheld at many a University campus is one of, "Spirituality is myth; Science is truth," which includes ideas like, "Spirituality provides answers for questions science has YET to answer. But, once science can answer them, spirituality will find the next thing, and the next thing... etc," which actively relegates spirituality to a set or processes designed to deal with uncertainty and unknowing by not allowing it... and we all know how misguided that is!

Again, I'm not dissing science or scientists in toto, just a particular view of science that is both popular, and - unforunately - influential.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 12 Apr 2012 15:38 #4274

"Spirituality is myth; Science
is truth," which includes ideas like, "Spirituality provides answers
for questions science has YET to answer. But, once science can answer
them, spirituality will find the next thing, and the next thing... etc,"
which actively relegates spirituality to a set or processes designed to
deal with uncertainty and unknowing by not allowing it... and we all
know how misguided that is!"

What I've been trying to say is that we have such a profound bias toward science-- the very word means 'knowledge' -- that the one possibility that seems not to occur is that spirituality [at its best] is not a primitive means of 'dealing with uncertainty and unknowing by not allowing it', to be superseded by science. It is a means of giving uncertainty its due and allowing oneself to be utterly changed by it. It is a means of including uncertainty. which makes wisdom-- not mere knowledge-- possible.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 12 Apr 2012 15:51 #4275

That's right on, Kate.

What I have to watch out for is applying this particular view of science to all science, or all individuals or organizations which while scientific inquiry. Knowledge and Wisdom are both important, and neither necessarily gets in the way of the other. It's difficult to be mindful of this when past experience is riddled with opposition. It takes a lot of presence to keep unconsious reactions from projecting past "stuff" onto that or those which it does not belong, if that makes sense.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 12 Apr 2012 16:27 #4276

Yes, Jackson, I think that is important, as was brought up on a previous thread. We tend to make broad generalizations, which are often based on real experiences, but don't necessarily apply to everyone. It's both a sensible practical method of dealing with the world, and a big hole full of prejudice and assumptions.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 13 Apr 2012 12:12 #4277

Here in the west we've lost our way and decided to drop spirituality, typically relegating it to the realm of superstition. This is sad and unfortunate. I see this in evidence at the conference I'm attending. But I also see increasing evidence of a backlash, which is the phenomenon I was describing here yesterday. I just hope that in accomplishing what I hope is an "attitude adjustment" we don't toss science (which I think of as investigation, not knowledge) into a similarly over-simplified dustbin in our minds.

In my simple mind science and spirituality are friends, synergistic, and very supportive of each other.

Anyway, the real enemy is dogma ;-)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Looky! More science 13 Apr 2012 14:02 #4278

The problem (if it is one) is that most people like dogma, because it implies certainty, which implies safety. Whereas investigation requires not knowing and openness to new discovery and such.

It's not easy to feel safe with investigation, and it's not encouraged widely either. It threatens dogma, which supports power and authority, which grants access to resources, territory, wealth, and so on... (whether on the small scale of a family or the large scale of an empire).

Thus the violence that can erupt when one questions dogma (whether questioning daddy's rules or questioning the authority of a king).

Thoughts?
The administrator has disabled public write access.
Time to create page: 0.211 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum